Shang-Chi is trying to live a quiet life working in a restaurant in Chinatown. However, it seems like his past is back to haunt him! Find out more in Shang-Chi #1 by Marvel Comics!
Writer: Gene Luen Yang
Artist: Dike Ruan
Colorist: Sebastian Cheng
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Editor: Darren Shan
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 30th, 2020
Previously in Shang-Chi: After Shang-Chi defeated Zheng Zhu, he has largely been in hiding and tries to live a normal life. However, Marvel Universe’s greatest fire is forced to return back to his previous life when a secret of Shang-Chi’s past comes back to haunt him!
A PEACEFUL LIFE
The issue starts off with the current Supreme Commander of the Five Weapon Society being killed by Sister Hammer. However, Sister Hammer expected a seamless take over of the society, it is revealed that Shang-Chi is the next chosen to lead. Meanwhile, Shang-Chi is working in San Francisco’s Chinatown when he again crosses paths with Leiko. During the polite exchange, the group is ambushed by the Five Weapon Society but are rescued by Brother Sabre and Sister Dagger, leaders of their own respective societies. They usher him to kill the usurper and take his rightful place; which he refuses. After they leave, Leiko reveals who the Sister Hammer actually is; Shang-Chi’s half sibling.
I am always nervous seeing certain takes on eastern culture because many of them fall into Orientalism. Shang-Chi as a title is riddled with this and I don’t believe that this comic isn’t any different. I can feel the creative team trying to break away from it through the portrayal of Grandma Wang and Delilah but the overall tropes of the comic I still find problematic. But now that I have gotten that point out of the way, let us talk about some of the themes.
I like this parallel of Deliliah visiting her great aunt vs Shang-Chi and the inevitable confrontation of his half-sister. The normalcy of Deliliah being an educated and powerful lawyer foils the life Shang-Chi has and helps emphasis’ the overall theme of family in the comic. I don’t know if Shang-Chi can reconcile with his family but the introduction of Delilah will at least be a motivating factor to try. The art is also very good in this issue. I enjoyed the vivid action and dynamic poses within the martial art fighting styles of the characters.
BOTTOM LINE: IT IS DECENT
I know that Orientalism isn’t going to be an issue for most readers. If you like a good martial arts story that will help prep you for the movie next year, then this is a good warm up. This is also a first issue and many of my complaints could be resolved as the creative team has more space to write. I am hopeful but I admit to being a little nervous. 3.5 out of 5 stars for Shang-Chi #1 from me.
Dear Spoilerite,At Major Spoilers, we strive to create original content that you find interesting and entertaining. Producing, writing, recording, editing, and researching requires significant resources. We pay writers, podcast hosts, and other staff members who work tirelessly to provide you with insights into the comic book, gaming, and pop culture industries. Help us keep MajorSpoilers.com strong. Become a Patron (and our superhero) today.
Shang-Chi's past is coming back to haunt his current peaceful life!